Sustainability Science Program

Janhavi Nilekani

Janhavi Nilekani

Janhavi NilekaniMs. Janhavi Nilekani
Sustainability Science Program
Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 81
Harvard University
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Office: 502 Rubenstein Building
Tel: (1) 617-496-0739
Group affiliation: Giorgio Ruffolo Doctoral Research Fellow

Janhavi Nilekani is a Giorgio Ruffolo Doctoral Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program and a doctoral candidate in the Public Policy Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Her research focuses on evaluating the benefits and costs of policy instruments for controlling environmental pollution, with an emphasis on India. In particular, she is studying the impact of Indian vehicular emissions standards on urban air pollution levels. Janhavi is contributing to collaborative work by the Initiative on Building Public-Private Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Development in India led by Professor Rohini Pande. Janhavi received her BA, cum laude, in Economics and International Studies and the Ronald Meltzer/Cornelia Awdziewicz Economic Award from Yale University in 2010. She has worked as a Research Associate on a pilot emissions trading program for Indian industry at the Jameel Poverty Action Lab-South Asia (2011-2012). Her faculty host is Rohini Pande.

Evaluating the impact of Indian vehicular emissions standards
The project aims to empirically estimate the impact of Indian vehicular emissions standards on urban air pollution levels.

To address urban air pollution from vehicular sources, India has rolled out progressively more stringent vehicular emissions standards that restrict exhaust emissions from new vehicles. This research uses a differences-in-differences empirical approach that exploits variation in treatment intensity to evaluate whether the introduction of these standards and increased stringency over time result in improvements in air pollution levels and trends. It also explores the mechanisms for why a policy succeeds or fails, focusing particularly on enforcement issues, and analyzes the implications for future policies.

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